Target Audience Characteristics

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Every target audience has its own unique characteristics.
Every target audience has its own unique characteristics. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

All successful marketing campaigns target a particular audience. A target audience is a group of people who have several things in common with one another that distinguishes them from others. If your target audience is defined too broadly, then you will waste money marketing to the wrong people. The purpose of defining your target audience is so that you can craft a central marketing message that speaks to their needs and desires.

Demographics

Demographics are the attributes, or characteristics, of a specific segment of the population. Demographic information includes personal characteristics such as race, sex, education and income level. If you are promoting scholarships, for example, then you may only want to target people in a younger age group who have specific educational backgrounds. A marketing campaign generally begins by finding out the demographics of the core consumers.

Buying History

One important attribute to look for in a target audience is their buying habits. People who have previously bought products similar to your offerings are likely candidates to make the same kind of purchase again. If you are selling recreational water equipment, for example, then aiming your marketing efforts at people who own boats or other recreational watercraft will ensure that you are targeting only people who spend money on recreational water equipment.

Geographic Location

National and international marketing campaigns are very expensive. Decide where exactly your target audience lives, then learn about that particular market. Study the competitors and local government regulations, and design your distribution process for the area. An alternative to finding an exact location is to determine some locational attribute of your audience, such as urban or suburban.

Shopping Habits

People have different shopping habits, and it is helpful if you know where and how your target audience prefers to shop. One consumer habit is online shopping; some audiences shop mostly online rather than going to a physical store to make purchases. Conversely, other shoppers prefer not to purchase online. Look at your target audience to learn about their shopping frequency and their loyalty.

Business Consumers

Marketing to businesses is different from marketing to individual consumers. Look at your marketing message, and determine whether you could get additional sales from business customers. Businesses are more difficult to define in terms of specific attributes, but you can look at their needs and see how they relate to your offerings. You may offer products in bulk to business customers at a substantially lower price than you would offer to individual consumers.

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